auk

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auk

(ôk), common name for a member of the family Alcidae (alcid family), swimming and diving birds of the N Atlantic and Pacific, which includes the guillemots and puffins. Their legs are set far back on their bodies, making them clumsy on land, where they seldom venture except to nest. The extinct, flightless great auk, Pinguinus impennis, or garefowl, represents the largest species. It was about the size of a goose, black above and grayish white below, and was formerly abundant in the N Atlantic. Slaughtered in its breeding grounds for its flesh, feathers, and oil, it became extinct c.1844. The least auklet (about 6 1-2 in./16.3 cm), common in the Bering Sea region, is the smallest of the family, and the razor-billed auk, Alca torda (16–18 in./40–45 cm), is the largest surviving member. The Eskimos hunt the dovekie (Plautus alle), or little auk, for food and use its feathered skin for clothing. Auks return to the same breeding grounds every year, and each individual goes to the very same nesting site. The single egg is laid on bare rock on cliff ledges, and incubation duties are shared by both parents. Auks are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Alcidae.

auk

[ȯk]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of several large, short-necked diving birds (Alca) of the family Alcidae found along North Atlantic coasts.

auk

1. any of various diving birds of the family Alcidae of northern oceans having a heavy body, short tail, narrow wings, and a black-and-white plumage: order Charadriiformes
2. little auk a small short-billed auk, Plautus alle, abundant in Arctic regions
References in periodicals archive ?
We did not find records of Razorbill consumption by Snowy Owls, but Campbell and MacColl (1978) and Gross (1944) have documented Snowy Owls feeding on other species of alcids during winter.
Penguins have lost the power of aerial flight, but modern alcids -- less profoundly modified -- can fly both in air and in water.
Repertoires of more distantly related alcids have few vocal similarities with auklets.
These terms are too strong for describing the territorial bahaviour of alcids in general, and a flightless one in particular.
The book is organized by bird family: you'll find separate sections for tubenoses (albatrosses, fulmars, shearwaters, petrels), pelican-like birds, gull-like birds, phalaropes, and alcids.
Based on these results, parakeet auklets and other alcids should not be housed, or at least fed, on a loose stone substrate.
Among species of shorebirds, gulls, and alcids with different types of mating systems, for example, sexual dimorphism in body size is greater in socially polygynous species than in less polygynous species (Szekely et al.
Thursday - Birdwatch: Midweek "Hunt" for Alcids and Seadbirds by BBC.
After I began the second, at-sea phase of my research life, my love switched from alcids to the true birds of the deep ocean--the tubenoses.